Zürich-based architectural firm Becker & UmbrichtArchitekten was founded in 2013 by Henrik Becker and Michael Umbricht, two professionals with extensive experience in the architectural and design sphere.
Presented project, named Haus U, is an apartment building located in one of the residential areas in Zürich, Switzerland. The detached three-storey building stands out from the area, which mostly consists of smaller single-family houses. The architects approached the design of the house with a holistic mindset. “The spatial order of the house cannot be defined by a single element or space, but only by a holistic consideration of all the elements of which the house consists of.
Through this conceptual understanding of an architectural order, we want to develop a multi-thematic, yet rigorous architecture that preserves a mysterious ambivalence between explicability and irrationality,” architects explained. At first glance, the concrete structure of the residence seems enclosed from the front. On the other hand, the building surprises with wonderful views, facing Lake Constance on the north, while providing a nice view to the garden on the south. However, on the east and west side, the neighboring houses are quite close to each other, therefore privacy had to be taken into consideration during the design process. To provide a sufficient privacy, only the spaces dedicated to social activities feature full-length windows, while the private rooms gain their light through large skylights.